Monday, 19 January 2009

New Year, Same Sh*t

Right, new year, time for fresh beginnings and all that. More importantly, as we didn't get our acts together at the end of last year, time to dig some manure into the soon-to-be-heaving-with-nature's-abundance plot.

Amanda ordered a load of compost from Steve the Pooh Man, who turned up bang on time on Saturday morning. He arrived in a tractor pulling a huge trailer full of manure. "Aha", thinks I, "he's delivering to three or four allotments this morning". Oh no. This was all for us, and he promptly dumped it at the end of our allotment. A mountain of manure. A pile of pooh. A sh*t load of, well, sh*t.

Despite the weather forecast all week announcing that the weekend would basically be the Apocalypse, it was actually a lovely day in the end. In beautiful sunshine we retrieved our pathetic little wheelbarrow from the innards of the lovely shed and set about transferring the manure to the designated growing area.

Our aim for the day was to 'dig in' the manure. We don't actually know what this means, but we basically spread it over the area we want to grow stuff in, and then kind of turned some of the soil/manure mixture over. Hopefully this will work.

One of the gurus noticed us poncing about and wandered over clutching an ancient gardening book (seriously, it was ancient - it was his Mum's old book, and featured sections on growing vegetables in wartime). He read out a bit that explained about crop rotation (we'd heard of this, and so nodded sagely at this point). He then went on to read out the bit about not putting manure on the section of the plot to be used for roots (potatoes, onions, etc), as they don't like it. Ah. We stopped nodding, looked confused, and then thanked him profusely for having intervened before we'd busted our guts treating the entire allotment.

He wandered off, to be replaced shortly later by Henri, the French guru. He explained about crop rotation, and that we shouldn't spread manure over all of the plot, as the root vegetables don't like it. We nodded sagely.

We did two stints on the allotment, and covered roughly two thirds of the area around the shed. This is of course completely contrary to the advice in all of the books, which counsel taking it easy and only doing a bit at a time. In the end, though, it's starting to look like the plot's coming together.

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